tv PBS News Hour PBS November 29, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm PST
and of the opposition. >> brown: then, we update the growing unrest in egypt where the islamist-dominated assembly fast-tracked a vote on a new constitution. >> suarez: we continue our conversations with newly-elected senators. tonight, arizona republican, jeff flake. >> >> we're at a point on the fiscal issues where we have to reach an agreement and perhaps as we do so that will start the stage for the other areas as well. >> brown: fred de sam lazaro has the story of a minnesota non- profit that celebrates diversity and the power of dance. >> they're one of the few companies that within their own work spans so many kinds of different style, from classical ballet to modern dance to contemporary performance to urban dance. >> suarez: and we look at college sports teams, moving from conference to conference, playing a game of musical chairs where the end goal is more money from lucrative tv contracts. >> brown: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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>> brown: the battle for control of syria reached ever closer to the capital today. heavy fighting flared near the damascus airport, and online access was cut, as the pressure intensified on president bashar al-assad. we have a report narrated by jonathan rugman of "independent television news." >> reporter: it could be the west's worst nightmare. jubilant jihadist fighters near damascus. this group has captured a helicopter and these islamists are now in the vanguard of syria's rebel army. syrian warplanes and helicopters were filmed attacking the fringes of the capital today. and to the road to the international airport has been closed by fighting. and as that fighting intensifies much of syria's internet network has been cut. the government and opposition are blaming each other for the
shutdown. whatever the truth, syria's regime is battling these men for its very survival. president assad's helicopters are being shot down. and even a mig jet was filmed tumbling from the sky. this rebel boasting that he's downed both a helicopter and a mig within 24 hours. these surface to air missiles have been looted from captured military bases. what do we first with it a voice can be heard asking. not everybody knows how this newfound firepower works. yet this islamist brigade near damascus now has one. while near aleppo an entirm air defense system seems to have fallen to the so-called daoud
battalion which is affiliated however loosely with al qaeda. "these are assad's missiles," say the cameraman and "we have taken them." london and washington may have refused to arm these rebels. but armed they are like never before. >> suarez: and margaret warner takes the story from there. >> warner: for more on today's developments and what they mean for syria's president bashar al assad, i'm joined by andrew tabler, a senior fellow at the washington institute for near east policy. he was in rebel-held syrian border regions in mid-november. andrew, welcome back. >> thank you. >> warner: first of all, how critical is the rebel seizure of some of these surface-to-air missile from the captured army bases? >> they're answer cloutly vital. for months the syrian army has harassed rebel held territories and they've bombed them into submission. with these shoulder-fired missiles they're able to down
syrian aircraft of all types and it allows the syrian opposition to have the possibility of actually saying they have a pure liberated territory which is completely outside of the regime's control and that sets the stage for a possible benghazi-like pocket that could push president assad south and west war war so step back from all today's news, what do you make of today's developments. the internet, the airport? is the conflict entering a new phase? >> it's definitely entering a new phase. the siege on the airport and the airport road and so on actually mimics a lot of other attacks on airfields throughout the country where rebels approach it with missiles, machine guns and make sure planes can't take off and that way they take care of the air force that way. in terms of the internet, we're not sure. it could be intentional or the result of the power cuts or where the mobile system went out as well or part of the plan. and in damascus people are panicking, they think that something is going on that the
regime is about ready to lash out and we're waiting to see what that might entail. >> warner: so you mean people, civilians on the ground, are panicing? >> absolutely. >> warner: so be go back to the airport. there is this big battle for the access road into the airport and you had the two major airlines shutting down their service today. how crucial is maintaining control of the airport and a functioning airport to the assad regime's hold on power? >> well, it's more of a sovereignty issue to capture the capital's airport which is east of damascus, an area where the rebels are active. it's a major blow but it's a psychological and political blow. they have other airfields they can fly out of but it's a big loss for assad, a big embarrassment and another sign that president assad's hold over geographic syria is tipping. >> warner: isn't assad believed to be restocking weapons and aircraft through the air? >> sure. and they're being resupplied.
they have large stocks of weapons. they're being helped out by the iranians with the transformation of the that dia -- >> warner: that being the thugs --. >> alawite forces. the russians also are backing them in one way shape or form. who hasn't backed them is the united states and the west in terms of rebel forces and syrians, especially opposition, are quite angry about that. >> warner: if the internet service stays down, how much does that hamper the rebels' ability to operate? >> it dawes because they're unable to coordinate. you beal surprised what happens over mobile phones and through the internet and using smart phones. >> and texting. >> but they still have two-way radios and sat phones. but its it harder for them, not impossible. but it's a sign that -- the assad regime hasn't done this until now and it's a sign we're entering a new phase. >> warner: do you think the assad forces need the same infrastructure or do they have their own? >> i think they need it and do
they have their own closed network? if it's a result of a power failure to the communications system, that's one thing. hezbollah has its own communication system in lebanon, if it's something like that we're looking at a -- the regime lashing out possibly and communicating in that way. >> warner: in the video we just saw that damascus rebel outfit was described as jihadist. how prevalent and prominent are jihadists within the larger rebel forces at this point? >> they're a minority but salafists are a main part of it. also islamists in general and very recently we've seen and uptick in the number of jihadist salafists within syria. we've also seen more and more shoulder-fired missiles getting into their hands. so the issue of arming or not arming opposition, it might have gotten away from the west. it seems like the weapons that we feared were going to get into
the wrong people's hands has without us doing anything and that's a major problem in a security issue for the obama administration. >> warner: you were telling me before we came on that you'd seen another video that also suggests that. tell us about that. >> that's right. there was a video released a few days ago in which -- in the video it was an organization fly a black flag, clearly something jihadist saying to europeans and americans "we don't need you, we have these weapons, we'll do it on our own." so our worst nightmare through neglect seems to be coming true in syria. >> warner: quickly, how close is the u.s. to changing its policy at all from what you've been able to discern? >> i think it is on terms of recognizing the government in exile which we -- was formed in doha. in terms of arming the opposition, i'm not sure. it might be something that's been debated to death. there's no action out of the obama administration. we were hoping it was going to happen earlier, it didn't happen and it seems now that the people
-- the jihadists and salafists have the arms now including shoulder-fired anti-aircraft systems and the secular forces that came out of the mainstream that we could deal with don't seem to have those weapons and the question is what is the obama administration going to do now? >> warner: tough decision. patrick tabler, thank you. >> my pleasure. >> suarez: still to come on the "newshour": political turmoil in egypt; arizona's new senator; a broad range of steps for a minnesota dance company and the college conference switches. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: democrats and republicans accused each other today of refusing to talk specifics about how to avoid the fiscal cliff. the two sides traded charges of bad faith as year-end tax hikes and spending cuts moved another day closer. on the face of it there seemed to be little movement today. >> no substantive progress has been made in the talks between the white house and the house
over the last two weeks. >> sreenivasan: treasury secretary timothy geithner and legislative chief rob nabors arrived at the capitol this morning, for meetings with congressional leaders. house speaker john boehner also spoke to president obama on the phone last night. he said he wanted to know where the administration would rein in spending, but that he had heard nothing new. >> i was hopeful we'd see a specific plan for cutting spending. we sought to find out today what the president is really willing to do. listen, i remain hopeful that productive conversations in the days ahead can be had but the white house has to get serious. >> sreenivasan: senate minority leader mitch mcconnell echoed that complaint. in a statement, he said, "today, they took a step backward and significantly closer to the cliff." conversely, white house spokesman jay carney charged republicans failed to provide any details on what they could tolerate in the way of tax increases. >> the president has always
engaged in this with real numbers. when you talk about flexibility on revenue, all we've heard so far and it's welcomed, don't get me wrong, but we've heard that yes, revenue on the table but we need more than that. >> sreenivasan: away from the microphones, there were reports of possible movement. an account in the journal "politico" said the contours of a deal are emerging. the report cited unnamed sources who said the deal could include $1.2 trillion in tax increases over ten years. it also said entitlement programs, mainly medicare, will be cut by no less than $400 billion. and on the sidelines, the president hosted his defeated rival, mitt romney, at a private lunch today. mr. obama travels to suburban philadelphia tomorrow, pressing to raise taxes on top earners, but keep tax cuts for everyone else. wall street initially fell after house speaker boehner said there'd been no progress on a fiscal cliff deal. but stocks rose later, on news
that the economy grew at an annual rate of 2.7% in the third quarter. the dow jones industrial average gained more than 36 points to close well above 13,021. the nasdaq rose 20 points to close at 3,012. the united nations general assembly voted today to recognize palestine as a non- member observer state. the tally was 138 to nine, with 41 abstentions. the u.s. voted no. it came after palestinian president mahmoud abbas appealed to the world body to issue the birth certificate of palestine. >> we did not come here seeking to delegitimize a state established years ago, and that is israel. rather, we came to affirm the legitimacy of a state that must now achieve its independence, and this is palestine. >> sreenivasan: palestinians said the vote would strengthen their hand in future peace talks
with israel. but the israeli ambassador to the u.n., ron prosor, warned that the palestinians are turning their backs on peace. >> for as long as president abbas prefers symbolism over reality, as long as he prefers to travel to new york for u.n. resolutions rather than travel to jerusalem for genuine dialogue, any hope of peace will be out of reach. >> sreenivasan: meanwhile, a bipartisan group of u.s. senators said today they will push to cut off u.s. aid, if the palestinians use their new status to bring israel before the international criminal court. in iraq, a wave of attacks today killed at least 43 people. most of the victims were in the city of hillah, south of baghdad. back-to-back explosions targeted shi-ite pilgrims and emergency responders. the force of the blasts left twisted wreckage of cars outside shops in a busy commercial area. a third bombing killed six people near a shrine in the city of karbala. a year-long inquiry into british media practices ended today with a call for new regulation. lord justice brian leveson led the investigation.
it was triggered by a scandal over a tabloid newspaper-- owned by the murdoch conglomerate-- that hacked voice-mails of hundreds of people. we have a report from gary gibbon of "independent television news." >> reporter: they say the body that regulars the newspapers can't be run by newspapers alone anymore. it needs to be more independent and overseen by a government watchdog. >> this is not and cannot reasonably or fairly be characterized as statutory regulation of the press. i am proposeing inspect regulation of the press organized by the press. >> reporter: but david cameron said the judge had got it wrong. laws controlling newspapers could mushroom into censorship. he said he wanted changes the way newspapers regulate themselves but not new laws. >> the issue of principle is that for the first time we would have crossed the rubicon of
writing elements of press regulation into the law of the land. we should, i believe, be wary of any legislation that has the potential to infringe free speech and a free suppress. >> hear hear! >> reporter: describes the phone hacking and other intrusions suffered by innocent victims like millie dougher will, justice leveson depicted a press out of control, those "reckless regard for accuracy" would resist and dismiss complainants almost a matter of course and "showed a recklessness in prioritizing sensational stories almost irrespective of the harm caused, heedless of the public interest." >> good morning. any thoughts today? >> rupert murdoch in new york today, the judge also said there was no evidence to support allegations that there was a grand bargain between the tory leadership and the murdochs, exchanging newspaper support for policies ahead of the last election. lord justice leveson said he was now passing the ball on to the
politicians. they are far from agreed what they want to do with it. >> sreenivasan: nasa had a major announcement of its own today. the planet closest to the sun mercury has ice at its poles. the findings came from "messenger"-- the first spacecraft to orbit mercury. the ice was found in the permanently shadowed region of the north pole. scientists said they believe there's ice at the planet's south pole as well. and in washington, one of those scientists, david lawrence, said it's no small amount. >> if you add it all up you have 100 billion to one trillion metric tons of ice. now of course, those numbers are big it's hard to know what to do with them. so we can bring it down to earth, in fact here in this town, if you take the amount of ice we consider to be at mercury right now, stack up the entire area of washington d.c. by about two to two and a half miles of ice, that is what is current presently at mercury's poles. >> sreenivasan: the "messenger" team said the ice likely came from comets and asteroids that crashed into mercury. those impacts may also account for dark material that could be the remnants of organic matter.
those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jeff. >> brown: and we turn to egypt, where an embattled president tried again to explain his sweeping actions, and an islamist led assembly raced to complete passage of a new constitution. all across egypt this evening, people watched as president mohamed morsi spoke to state television interviewers addressed the nation. he defended his decision to grant himself powers free from judicial review. >> ( translated ): my responsibility is to protect this nation from any conspiracy or from any attempt to go backwards. as the country's president my responsibility, is to achieve justice and respect the laws and to lay down many rules in the absence of parliament until they convene and are able to vote on behalf of the people. >> brown: the islamist president also criticized the outpouring of protests against his actions.
on tuesday, at least 200,000 people filled cairo's tahrir square, accusing morsi and his muslim brotherhood of hijacking last year's revolution. liberal and secular groups also condemned a move to fast-track a final vote on a new constitution. >> ( translated ): we want a constitution that represents all egyptian people, not one that represent a certain faction of egyptians. >> ( translated ): the constitutional panel tasked to >> brown: the constitution is being drafted by an assembly dominated by islamists. that body moved up the vote to this week, because the country's supreme constitutional court is expected to issue a ruling on sunday that could dissolve the assembly. in washington today, state department spokesperson victoria nuland also raised concerns about the new constitution. >> we've been very clear all we want to see this constitution meet international human rights standards, protections for all groups in egypt and to have a judicial set of guarantees that also meets international
judicial standards. but again we haven't seen the specific draft that's being reviewed. >> reporter: but the president still has strong support in egypt. last night, thousands marched through the streets of alexandria, in favor of morsi and an early vote on the constitution. >> ( translated ): the constitutional declaration is not against the revolution, but it complies with what they were asking for during the revolution >> brown: another mass rally supporting morsi has been called for saturday. the opposition plans its own large protest tomorrow, after friday prayers. >> brown: a short time ago i spoke to david kirkpatrick, cairo bureau chief of "the new york times." david, thanks for joining us. so this constitutional assembly that's moving very quickly on a constitution, tell us, explain what's going on there. >> well, the assembly has been meeting for several weeks and trying to work faster and faster
to finish a new constitution, the first constitution for egypt since the overthrow of hosni mubarak. they said recently that they would like a little more time. they were hoping to bring together a consensus of the islamist majority and some of the secular minority in the assembly but at the last minute they decided to jump the gun, to really rush things and wrap it up today. they are afraid that on sunday the constitutional court here, the supreme constitutional court will rule against their assembly and try and dissolve it. so they're trying to wrap up their work before that can happen. unfortunately, fear of that looming deadline has led to quite a bit of gridlock in the assembly as the islamists who are running the show have moved faster and faster and tried to close off debit, a lot of the secular folks inside the assembly have boycotted it, walked away protesting the pressure they're under to try to
close things up before there's enough debate. so what's happened today is basically almost all the secular representatives are gone and the islamists alone are forcing through a constitution which will then go to a referendum. >> brown: so what's at stake with this constitution? i mean, how far-reaching is it supposed to be? how much is it intended to rule egypt's politics and society going forward? >> well, this is it. this is the whole thing. this is the road map for egypt's future. and i think the heady first days of the revolution, many people imagine quite a sweeping overhaul of egypt's institutions. that's not going to happen. after a rather convoluted transition process and around pretty tight deadline the drafters have decided to start with egypt's former constitution and tinker with that. they didn't look around the world and find the best possible models and start from scratch and put something together.
they've been sort of twisting and turning the old constitution to try to tweak it to work better and they have done some things that everyone here wanted. they're ending the old imperial presidency that hosni mubarak and his predecessors used to rule over egypt. they're barring torture, ending detention without trial. on a lot of other areas it's a little bit of a muddle. there are protections for individual rights but also rather expansive guarantees against insults of individuals or fro fetes or other icons that could clash with freedom of expression and there's some areas where i think most independent analysts would say it's just not quite fully baked. that the document could use a little more time. >> brown: so we're seeing these dueling demonstrations but as of the moment it doesn't look as though president morsi is
backing down from what he said last week about taking more mower? what does it look to you about how much that's galvanized opposition? >> the opposition has certainly been galvanized by his moves. there's opposition unity really for the first time since he came to power or before then. the secular political forces here have had a hard time coming together against the islamists until now. but his power grab last week that set all this in motion was really just an attempt to put his own decrees above the reach of the courts just until the constitution was finished. so one thing the assembly is now trying to do is to moot that conflict a little bit. he can now say and the assembly can say "we're done, it's all over." his argument was that he needed to have the extra powers to protect the assembly from the courts, from the courts of mubarak and justices. that he and some of the
islamists feel are forces of counterrevolution. now that's no longer so necessary. he can begin to move very briskly, i think, toward the national referendum and the constitution will be able to stand on its own two feet. that's not going to satisfy the opposition. they are convinced that this constitution in addition to being hasty is actually a blueprint for a kind of creeping islamist takeover. it's true that the ultraconservatives who wanted to have something like a council of religious scholars ruling on legislation or what who want to impose religious law quite explicitly, they've been shut down. none of that worked. but there are some ambiguous maybe not quite fully defined phrases about society charged with enforcing moral codes that liberals fear could be a kind of trojan horse that over time under an islamist government
will become a more and more roe best way to impose moral codes on the less religious. >> brown: david kirkpatrick of the "new york times" in cairo. thanks so much. >> suarez: and now we continue our conversations with newly elected senators. jeff flake is currently finishing his sixth term representing arizona in congress. prior to being elected to office, the 49-year-old flake worked as the executive director of the goldwater institue, an association that promotes less government. earlier this month he won the seat left open by retiring republican jon kyl, taking 50 percent of the vote. and senator-elect flake joins me from capitol hill. welcome to the program. >> thanks for having me on, ray. >> suarez: today speaker boehner accused the democrats of not offering any serious proposals to avoid going over the fiscal
cliff and shortly after the white house and the democrats answered that the republicans had not offered any of their own plans. is this something that's going to be able to be taken care of while you're still a representative or is it going to land in your lap when you move to the other chamber? >> you know, i hope we get it done, obviously. we want to avoid the cliff. it is a little troubling that we don't have any real plans or offers on the spending side. i think on the revenue side it's pretty clear by knew republicans are willing to give up more revenue, but we've got to see a balance. there's got to be spending cuts and if those have been offered, i'm not sure what they are. >> suarez: are you one of those members who's staked out a position on whether it has to be rates or effective revenue and not rates? >> well, i think it can be effective revenue. obviously it depends on where you put the level of deductions that can be taken. so i'd rather not raise rates at
all. i think it can be done without that. but certainly additional revenue is going to be required. >> suarez: the man who will be leading the senate in the next congress, harry reid, says he's taking a serious look at filibuster reform, bemoaning the fact that getting 60 votes for anything is becoming increasingly difficult. is it worth a look? >> it's worth a look and it's worth rejecting. i think it was looked at a couple years ago by republicans, the nuclear option was almost employed and i was very glad to see cooler heads prevail at that time and then back away from it. i hope they do the same today. you know, we've already got the house where you have a rules committee controlled by the majority, where the majority can put whatever it wants on the floor or reject whatever it wants. we don't need that in the senate thantd's essentially what would happen if you get rid of a 60-vote threshold on a motion to
proceed. >> suarez: but no matter who has the majority, hasn't it become increasingly difficult to get votes out from cloture and on to the floor for an up or down vote? >> it has and i think that that calls for an agreement between members but not a changing of the rules and i hope that we can do that by mutual agreement. i don't think that any party is blameless here. we obviously want a functioning senate. we haven't had that. we want to go through regular order. we've got to do that. but i just don't think that we ought to start by changing the rules. >> suarez: you'll be moving from the majority party in the house to the minority party in the senate. what changes for you as a legislator? >> well, the senate has typically been where minority can still exercise considerable power and i hope that that's still the case. that's one thing that's troubling. you work hard to get to the senate and the rules change and you're back in the house in terms of the rules. so i hope that we can have the
same rules package and i can tell you, my record in the house has certainly been to work across the aisle. that is more required in the senate. i'm certainly prepared to do that. and obviously be able to work on a range of issues that perhaps i wasn't able to in the house. >> suarez: one issue where you have worked across the aisle is immigration reform and the compromise bills you worked on with members of the democratic party you haven't really got an full hearing or airing across the country you might have wanted, they are an example of an issue that's coming back up again. do you think immigration reform has a chance in the coming congress? >> i do. i think it's a better chance than ever. i think obviously we've been without it. it's a problem that gets bigger and worse, particularly for a border state like arizona and this is one that's going to require working across the aisle where both parties take the plunge on certain items. i hope we can do that. certainly after this election
republicans realized that not just for substantive but policy reasons, political reasons as well it behooves us to move ahead. that's a good thing. >> suarez: the man whose place you'll be taking in the senate, jon kyl, is the co-sponsor with senator hutchison of the achieve act which would give legal residence to people who came illegally as children. he won't in the next senate. will you take over that spot? >> well, i'm glad they've introduced it. that gives us a point of departure, where to start from, and there will be reaction to that as we go into the new year and we can either introduce that same thing or something like it. what we have right now with president obama's action is a temporary measure. we need something permanent and this is always -- this has always been an issue that we needed to deal with in a humane rational way and if f this bill represents the place to start, that's great. >> suarez: well
ear about to make a career move, a move for the people of your state. one thing voters said consistent through twelve was that they didn't get a sense that congress was getting much done. do you have optimism that the next congress is going to be different from this last one? >> i do. mostly because we have to. we're at a point on the fiscal issues where we actually have to reach an agreement and perhaps if we do so in this lame duck session or early the session then maybe than will set the stage for other areas as well. we've got to on the regulatory front deal with these issues in a partisan way as well. i'm anxious to get started there and hopefully we can. >> suarez: arizona's senator elect jeff flake, thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me on. >> brown: and you can watch our earlier interviews with senators-elect angus king and tim kaine on our website.
next, a story of the arts and community. it's about a group in minnesota that aims to take dance to new places. its name is "tu dance." special correspondent fred de sam lazaro tells its story. >> reporter: tu dance's location-- a rusty but recovering urban neighborhood-- fits with its founders goal to bring dance to new places, to reach new people. for uri sands and toni pierce- sands, it's been an unusual journey to get here. each rose to prominence in the '90s, seeming to reach the pinnacle of storybook careers with new york's alvin ailey dance company. uri sands grew up poor in miami who got accepted into a fine arts public school and studied ballet.
toni pierce, the daughter of teachers, was hired by ailey, left it to tour europe but returned to new york and the company, where the pair met. >> i remember seeing toni and uri both as dancers and they are two of the nations best dancers. >> reporter: ben johnson, director of northrup dance center at the university of minnesota remembers seeing toni pierce sands in a piece called cry by alvin ailey, one of the 20th century's giants of modern dance. >> he created the piece to celebrate all mothers and women around the world and only an elite few dancers are allowed to perform this particular solo and that's the piece i first saw tony pierce perform. and uri in the same way, he's considered one of the most exquisite movers and one of the most beautiful dancers.
>> reporter: that happened in 1999. >> my family was helping to take care of my son at the time. so i came back to minnesota with all intentions you know to rebound with my family and then go back to new york where uri then shows up at the door and says, let's stay in minnesota. >> reporter: it may have seemed counterintuitive at first but the twin cities, known for a thriving arts scene and enjoying a renaissance in dance, offered new opportunities to carve out a niche. >> there had been a lot of work already done in the dance world, as well as room and space to welcome in new ideas and new visions for dance here in the twin cities. >> reporter: a few years after exploring career options and teaching, they began tu dance in 2004, named after toni and uri's first initials. the company has regularly sold out larger and larger venues
with a repertoire that reflects uri sands diverse background. >> what i notice in the last five years is the evolution in the range of their work. they're one of the few companies that within their own work span so many different kinds of styles, from classical ballet to modern dance to contemporary performance to urban dance. there are companies that produce the diversity of work, but it's really toni and uri that are doing what i think is the most significant broad ranged work. >> reporter: uri sands choreographs most of the company's works.
one that's attracted notice was "sense-ability," his first evening-long piece, an exploration of all five senses and the elements. he described a composition called sense-ability to pbs station tpt. >> for instance, there's air and touch, there's water taste, fire sight. for instance, toni and marciano are doing a duet and that's air and touch. we have these fans throughout >> reporter: one of their goals >> reporter: for members of their company, like david rue and eva mohn, working here is a departure in both style and mindset. they say dance here is a cultural practice, not a competitive endeavor, not necessarily geared to glorious performance >> for me, performance is such a small part of why i dance and actually probably the least significant. yeah and i wouldn't have said that a few years ago. >> i love the process of creating and rehearsing work.
the process of taking class and then the performance is just another part of that process instead of this mount olympus we're all climbing to. >> reporter: a priority for tu dance's founders want to bring such opportunities to a wider cross section of the next generation >> my sister and i danced with minnesota dance theater, and at that point we were kind of the only two young dancers of color. and after leaving and coming back, i-- so much had grown here in the twin cities and in st. paul in terms of dance and the community and the dancers, but there was something that did not change which was dancers of color. >> reporter: tu dance works closely with local schools to
create opportunities for young dancers of color. high schoolers who are invited- like 17-year-old dominick dates- face a mixture of grueling practice and tolerance, technical proficiency and individuality. >> they teach you what they want you to do but you do it how you want to do it. you can make whatever they teach you yours. yeah, your own flavor. >> reporter: students like mimi >> i've only been dancing for two years and people here have i come to tu and i'm like, "oh wow, she has curves like me." somebody in the company, she has a curve, i have a curve and their skin is like mine. and i really understand if they can make it, there's no excuse for me. >> the idea is that as performers, as artists, as students that we are representing our audience, our
community, the people, the watchers, and my gosh, it's deep but it's so, it's kind of simple for us you know? >> reporter: less simple is managing a dance company and school, especially raising scholarship funds needed by many young students. tu dance's annual budget is just $450,000. still, toni pierce sands at 50 and uri sands at 38, say they are looking forward to the legacy phase of their careers, sharing and giving back to an art form that transformed their lives. >> suarez: fred's reporting is a partnership with the undertold stories project at st. mary's university in minnesota. we'll be back shortly with a look at the money-driven moves by college sports teams. but first, this is pledge week on pbs. this break allows your public television station to ask for your support. and that support helps keep programs like ours on the air.rd
program lost thousands of books after hurricane sandy last month. >> brown: finally tonight, the college football season is reaching a climax of rivalries and conference championship games and its basketball season is now underway. but much of the action in college sports these days is away from the field or the court, as schools change affiliations and leagues.
in the last 18 months some 30 colleges have made moves. among the most prominent, the university of louisville's departure from the big east to join the atlantic coast conference or a.c.c. and two eastern schools headed to the big ten, traditionally a midwest-based conference: the university of maryland is leaving the a.c.c. and rutgers is departing from the big east. what's going on? sportswriter and author john feinstein joins me now. john, first of all, for the uninitiated, explain the role of these conferences traditionally. how do they work and how do they divide up the college world? >> well, jeff, conferences were designed initially to take schools that were together geographically and allow them to compete against one another and also schools that were similar academicly and played supports at a similar level so the games would be competitive. the atlantic coast conference consisted of teams on the
atlantic coast ranging from the state of maryland down to the state of south carolina. when the big east was formed in 1979 it went from boston in the east to syracuse, new york, as its western most outlet. the big 10, as you said, was midwestern schools. the pack 8, which is now the pack 12, was surprisingly enough four schools in california, two in oregon and two in washington. so geography was important, academics were important and competitive levels were important. now the landscape has changed completely. geography has been thrown out completely. academics have been thrown out completely and, to some degree, competitive levels have been thrown out completely because it's all about what schools can make you the most t.v. dollars and a conference and what conferences can make schools the most t.v. dollars. that's the unifying force now. >> brown: so it's dollars and television. particularly in football, right? >> exactly.
a all of those thing changes that have happened over a period of ten years now, because it began when the a.c.c. raided the big east for virginia tech, miami and boston college to improve itself as a football conference to get more t.v. dollars for football. it is about football because basketball actually5/h2y at most schools nets more dollars because the cost is less. but the potential in football because of television dollars is far greater so all of these moves are based on what can make the most dollars in football on television. that's why rutgers and maryland are going to the big ten, because getting into the new york market with rutgers, even though it's in new jersey, and into the washington, d.c. market with maryland the amount of money the big ten gets from its t.v. contracts goes up. just because they're in those markets. it has nothing to do with the quality of the teams at rutgers and maryland. >> brown: again, helping the
non-sports fans here, this goes well beyond sports, right? the dollars involved for these colleges, what are the stakes? how important is it? >> well, for example at both maryland and rutgers they have had to eliminate so called non-revenue sports. revenue sports are basketball and football. the non-revenue sports are sports like swimming and baseball and field hockey and soccer. they just don't make money. you try to break even if you're lucky. six years ago rutgers had to eliminate six of those programs. last year maryland had to eliminate seven because they weren't making enough money in football. so they believe that by making tens of millions more dollars in the next ten, 15, 20 years in football they will allow themselves to fund other programs and also to build bigger stadiums and have more licensing money and, of course, the t.v. dollars. >> brown: so just in our last minute, john, what is it, a
continuing arms race or a sort of pick your metaphor but you expect this kind of thing to continue and we're certainly seeing some odd geographic couplings and pairings, huh? >> well, all you need to know that boise state in idaho and sapgd state in california are now in what's call called the big east conference. yes, jeff, it's musical chairs and serve afraid they'll be the last one left standing so everybody's trying to grab, metaphorically, every chair that it can, whether it's the a.c.c. grabbing louisville or the big ten grabbing rutgers and maryland and dominos continue to fall. there will be more of this. >> jeff: boise is now in the east, huh? >> boise is in the east, san diego is in the east and south florida and central florida are also up in the east. yes. it makes no sense at all. and, by the way, the big ten has 14 teams now. >> jeff: (laughs) i was going to say map makers have to get to work but so do
mathematicians. john feinstein, thank you so much. >> thank you, jeff. >> suarez: again, the major developments of the day: internet and cell phone service was down in syria, and there was fighting near the airport in damascus, as rebels battled government forces. democrats and republicans accused each other of refusing to talk specifics about how to avoid the fiscal cliff. house speaker john boehner said there's been no progress in the last two weeks. and the u.n. general assembly voted to recognize palestine as a non-member observer state. the u.s. was one of only nine states voting no. and, you've heard the term "glacial pace"? not exactly, says one director who's scaled enough ice, to know better. hari sreenivasan has more. >> sreenivasan: filmmaker james balog spent years documenting dramatic changes in arctic glaciers. i talked with him about his documentary "chasing ice." that's our science thursday feature.
on art beat, digital touchups and tricks are common in photography today. we talk to a curator at the metropolitan museum of art about an exhibit that explores the history of photo manipulation before photoshop. plus, on making sense, economics correspondent paul solman ponders government versus private spending. all that and more is on our website newshour.pbs.org. ray? >> brown: and again, to our >> suarez: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm ray suarez. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks among others. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: and the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting.
>> this is nbr. captioning sponsored by wpbt >> tom: good evening. i'm tom hudson. susie will be along a little later in the program. disappointed-- that's how the top republican on capitol hill described the pace of progress on avoiding the fiscal cliff. we discuss where the talks stand with a top democrat, senator kent conrad of north dakota. and the glitter of silver-- it's